Unusual Ideas for More Sustainability

Author: Christiane Manow-Le Ruyet, Jana Bronsch-Chassard

Oct 22, 2020 Innovation / Sustainability / Artificial Intelligence

Globally active corporations like to think big – in terms of corporate strategies, product campaigns, and public image. What few people know: Large corporations also support many environmental protection projects. Here’s an overview.

Data streams for Beluga whales
At first glance, sustainability and technology don’t really fit together. At Microsoft they do. With the “AI for Earth” initiative, the IT giant has been working to preserve endangered species with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) since 2014. Microsoft helps researchers like Manuel Castellote, a scientist at the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) in Seattle. Thanks to AI, the evaluation of immense amounts of data is greatly accelerated. Castellote uses acoustic methods to analyze the movement patterns of endangered Beluga whales in Alaska. This allows him to gain insight into how this species can be protected.
Camel milk as a precious commodity
The Danish biotechnology group Chr. Hansen has committed to improving the living standards of camel farmers and to stopping the waste of camel milk in Kenya and Ethiopia since 2012. About 25 to 50 percent milk is lost due to the lack of infrastructure and technical facilities to preserve camel milk in these countries. Thanks to its low fat values and high calcium and protein content, it’s suitable for the production of long-life cheeses. Together with the Kenyan company Oleleshwa Enterprise, the group is helping local camel owners preserve their livestock and make better use of the milk.
Points for trees
The Chinese company Alibaba has been using a points collection system in its mobile payment app since 2016. Which isn’t a novelty, in and of itself. What’s special is a system that rewards sustainable behavior. For example, if shoppers pay electronically instead of by paper bill, or leave their car at home and use sustainable means of transport, they collect “Green Power Energy Points”. These can be redeemed for a reforestation program in northwest China. Users can watch trees being planted in real time.
IT against poaching
1,215 rhinos fell victim to poaching in 2014 and if this situation continues, there will be no rhinos left in Africa in 2025. That was the sad prognosis of a 2015 report by the South African Department of the Environment. In November 2015 the American telecommunications giant Cisco Systems established the Connected Conservation Program in a private reserve near Kruger National Park in South Africa. Together with partners and non-profit organizations, Cisco Systems has implemented IT solutions that monitor and track people from the moment they enter the reserve until they leave. The result: The number of poached animals dropped to zero in 2017. A documentary about the project was produced in cooperation with National Geographic UK.
Promoting biodiversity
Small, bustling, right on your doorstep, and yet so important for nature and people – we’re talking about bees. In the summer of 2020, expert organization DEKRA launched a passion project, for which it cooperates with a local beekeeper. Located on the premises of the Stuttgart head office, five bee colonies, a total of 250,000 animals, are working to produce the golden treat.
In the 2020 season the busy bees produced about 100 kilograms of honey. Bottled in jars, the employees can buy it in the cafeteria, making the sustainable project with the appropriate name “BeeDEKRA” transparent for everyone. DEKRA will use the entire proceeds from the sale to promote biodiversity in the region and get one step closer to the company’s goal of climate protection and resource conservation. In fall 2020, the expert organization presented the concrete terms in its sustainability report: Among other things, DEKRA wants to convert its entire power supply to renewable energies by 2025 and reduce CO2 emissions by 50 percent compared to 2018.
DEKRA Sustainability Strategy 2025
Sustainability is a core principle of our company and of the expert services we provide. Our Sustainability Strategy 2025 is holistic in its approach and embraces all ecological, social and economic aspects. We are working in four strategic areas.
  • Climate & Environment
  • Employee & Society
  • Supply & Value Chain
  • Management & Governance
Here you will find the DEKRA Sustainability Magazine.